"Please Daddy, please", my brother and I both begged, but daddy was adamant. His answer was "No".
Even at the tender age of seven I was no slouch when it came to using my ingrained feminine wiles to plead my case; so giving my brother an elbow to the ribs to "shush him up", I used the greatest mind-changing technique known to the female gender...tears. (Now, I'm not talking leaky faucet tears here; I'm talking big crocodile tears that only a seven year old can manufacture).
"Daddy, please listen", I began; but this time I used the trembling chin routine to activate the flood gates of Niagara Falls from my baby-blues..."You just don't understand, Daddy; all the other kids are getting their tonsils out, and that means that brother and I will be the only two kids left in the whole school with tonsils!"
Readers, don't laugh. You'd have had to grow up in the 40's to understand the seriousness of this dilemma. Children having their tonsils out was as commonplace as any other of the childhood diseases, such as measles, chicken pox and whooping cough - but having your tonsils out was boastfully accepted as the creme de la creme or top drawer of them all.
Meanwhile, back to my Academy Award performance on the Arts and Sciences of Feminine wiles: Daddy got the Oscar and I came in second.
Daddy's reasoning: "If God didn't think tonsils were important, He wouldn't have given them to us. If they're healthy and not infected, we should leave them where God put them. That's my final answer - and I'm sticking to it."
Our high hopes of skipping school and eating nothing but ice cream and jello for three days was over. But, Alas! All was not lost. My brother and I may be the only two senior citizens of the '40's era, alive today, that still retain their God given tonsils...thanks to our Doctor Dad.
Looking back, I realize that Dad was not only a God fearing man, but a straight-shooter as well. Being a medical doctor, himself - he could have cashed in on the "Tonsil Fad" of that era, and made a fortune taking out healthy tonsils just because that was the "In" thing to do at the time; but he didn't.
Dad would'nt bend the rules of his medical profession or the rules of God; but he did have a penchant for bending the rules of the road a bit. In fact, the family joke was when Daddy got behind the wheel of an automobile, he emptied Heaven of angels - as all the angels were summoned to Earth to run interference for him when he was on the road.
Angels would hold back speeding freight trains as Dad zoomed around or through the crossing barriers to get across the tracks before the train came...sometimes missing him narrowly by inches.
Angels also worked overtime holding back semi trailers and 18 Wheelers while Dad impatiently zipped past slow, pokey drivers on dangerous hairpin curves or in yellow "No Passing Zones" on two lane highways. They also kept an eye peeled out for every one of God's furry little creatures that might attempt to cross a road that Dad's vehicle was barreling down.
Poor Mother! She wore the carpet thin on the passenger side of every car that Daddy ever owned; constantly using her invisible braking pedals to ward off the crashes that amazingly never materialized. (Heaven may have been short-handed at the time, but God was still busy answering prayers)
Okay, so Dad had a lead foot and was impatient when behind the wheel of an automobile; but that doesn't take away from the fact that he was a conscientious physician, a sincere believer in God and a loving and devoted family man, Right? Three out of four ain't bad.
However, I've often wondered to myself; if instead of choosing the medical field, Dad had chosen the NASCAR racing circuit as his profession, would his rating of "four out of four" make him a better man in the eyes of God and his fellow man?
I think not - but only God knows the true answer.
"If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone..." John 8:7 NIV
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